CCIA Files Comments To Justice Department On Music Consent Decrees

BY Heather Greenfield
August 9, 2019

Washington — The Computer & Communications Industry Association told the Department of Justice the governing system that the music marketplace relies on to obtain public performance rights is still needed. CCIA’s comments also asked the DOJ to reaffirm that licensing strategies designed to discriminate against new technologies are prohibited by two long-standing antitrust consent decrees which bind performing rights organizations (PROs).

The DOJ had sought public comments due today on the consent decrees that it put in place to govern the two biggest PROs, ASCAP and BMI. Together ASCAP and BMI control 90 percent of the market for licensing to perform music publicly in the US. 

The following can be attributed to CCIA Chief Operating Officer Matt Schruers:

“The current system promotes competition and protects businesses, rightsholders, and music consumers.  The DOJ should not weaken the system that keeps the music on for millions of listeners in stores, bars, restaurants, and other venues.  

“We continue to encourage the Justice Department to ensure that rightsholders, who coordinate marketplace activity, nevertheless offer fair terms.  Weakening these consent decrees would go against Congress’s intent, and ultimately harm all stakeholders in the music marketplace.”

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